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How to pick a couch

What's the most important piece in the living room? That thing you'll spend a lot of your time on – the couch. Here's how to find the right one.

Anatomy of a couch

Filler: You can't go wrong with a down-and-feather combo, but high-density foam is also comfy, budget-friendly, and long-wearing.

Fabric: If the piece is wrapped in rich leather, thick twill or a durable microsuede, you can count on its longevity.

Joints: You might not see them, but the joints should be double- or triple-doweled, corner blocked, glued and high-pressure stapled for support.

Frame: Look for a couch built with a kiln-dried hardwood (better because less moisture is left in the wood) such as beach, maple or ash.

The basics

Expect to pay from $700 to $2,000, but designer ones can go for more than $10,000.

A love seat averages in at 58-60 inches. And an “apartment-size” couch is somewhere in between a love seat and standard three-seater.

Think about your lifestyle. A small space requires a smaller couch. Lots of guests require a pullout.

Test the height of the arms and check for ample padding on the arm rests. Your feet should touch the floor, and you shouldn't sink so far that you need a hand getting out.

If the back is finished as well as the front, it's quality.

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